Injunction for Protection in Polk County

In 2021, more than 3,900 petitions for domestic violence injunctions were filed in Polk County, which was 1,700 more than in 2020. Section 741.30, F.S., allows a petitioner to file in the circuit court a petition for an injunction against domestic violence if the petitioner claims to be:

  • the victim of domestic violence; or
  • under some circumstances, a person with reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.

In addition to domestic violence, orders of protection can be issued to prohibit dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, and stalking.

The filing procedures for domestic violence cases were established in Administrative Order No. 5-29.1 for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, including Polk County. Petitions are filed in person at the Bartow Courthouse or online through the Florida Court’s E-Filing portal.

Effective October 1, 2002, Florida law established that there is no fee to file for a domestic violence injunction for protection, although other types of petitions for injunction might be subject to the standard circuit court filing fees.

If the court issues an order of protection, the court order might direct the respondent not to have any contact with the petitioner or to stay away from their home, vehicle, or place of employment. Additionally, the court might award the petitioner temporary exclusive use of the home, temporary custody of their children, establish temporary child support for minor children, or order the respondent to participate in counseling.

Attorney for Injunction for Protection

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent respondents served with a petition for a protective order in Polk County, FL.

We represent men and women during all kinds of protective order hearings, including those involving claims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, repeat violence, stalking, or cyberstalking.

We also represent clients served with a petition for a Risk Protection Order (RPO) to take away their right to possess a firearm (also known as “Florida’s red flag law”) or a petition for protection from elder exploitation for a vulnerable adult.

We can help you subpoena witnesses to the hearing, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses called by the petitioner. Don’t face the judge alone.

Call 813-250-0500 today.

Procedures for Issuance of a Temporary Protective Injunction

To pursue an Injunction for Protection, the petitioner’s first step is to identify the type of injunction needed. The next step is to complete the appropriate packet and file it with the Clerk’s office in Polk County, FL.

After the petition is filed, the court may issue a temporary injunction ex parte. The term “ex-parte” means without any notice to the other side. In fact, during the ex-parte proceeding, the court is usually not required to review any response from the accused and may base a temporary injunction on hearsay evidence.

In Parrish v. Price, 71 So. 3d 132, 134 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011), the court held that a temporary injunction may be based solely on the petition filed, even if it is almost entirely based on hearsay statements.

If a court orders a temporary injunction for protection, the court clerk is required to furnish a copy of the petition, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction to the law enforcement agency of the county where the respondent resides or can be found.

Procedures for Issuance of a Protective Injunction During a Full Hearing

The temporary injunction is effective for fifteen (15) days. A court may, however, grant a continuance for good cause as requested by either party. The temporary injunction may be extended if a continuance is granted. Section 741.30(5)(c), F.S.

The petitioner and respondent are entitled to a full hearing, which must be scheduled for a hearing before the temporary injunction expires.

At the full hearing, the respondent must be given a reasonable opportunity to prove or disprove the allegations made in the complaint. Furthermore, the respondent is entitled to introduce evidence and cross-exam witnesses. Furry v. Rickles, 68 So. 3d 389, 390 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011) (citing Ohrn v. Wright, 963 So. 2d 298 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007)).

At the full hearing, the court “must consider the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole” to determine if a permanent injunction is warranted based on the petitioner’s fear of imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Injunctions for Protection on Behalf of a Minor Child

Section 784.046, F.S., allows the petition to be filed on behalf of a minor child by the parent or legal guardian of any minor child living at home. When a “parent files a sworn petition and has reasonable cause to believe the minor child is a victim of sexual violence by a nonparent, the sworn petition is a presumptively sufficient basis for an injunction.” (emphasis added) Berthiaume v. B.S. ex rel. A.K., 85 So. 3d 1117, 1119 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012).

Additional Resources

Polk County Clerk of Injunctions for Protection – Visit the website of the clerk of court in Polk County, FL, to learn more about injunctions for protection (also known as a “restraining order”). The Clerk of Court’s website has links to free and interactive “Do It Yourself (DIY) Court Forms” that can be filed electronically. Additionally, learn more about Florida Court’s Self-Help Center with forms needed in injunction cases.

Attorney for Domestic Violence Cases in Polk County, FL – Learn more about how to protect your rights after an accusation of domestic violence. The most common allegation involves misdemeanor battery, although more serious felony charges might be alleged, including strangulation, aggravated assault, or false imprisonment.

This article was last updated on Thursday, June 29, 2023.